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SD summit: Product, Marketing and Sales as 1

2017-10-05

First day at SiriusDecisions Summit, and I conclude that it's mind-boggling how much is happening in the industry. This year, focus is on demand generation and on what B2B companies must do to excel in this area. On everybody's lips is the alignment and collaboration not only between Sales and Marketing, but also with the Product unit.

SiriusDecisions presented their findings, concluding that a sustainable alignment across sales, marketing, and product, supported by systematic planning and relevant technologies to track, apply, and evaluate data, increase the opportunity to generate demand. According to Tony Jaros, President and Chief Product officer at SiriusDecisions, organisations that make this triangle work tend to generate 20% higher revenue and 15% higher profit, which certainly are numbers that inspire.

Adding to the picture, the SiriusDecisions ROI Award winner Cisco, talked about the importance of putting customers first - always. No news, really, but still very challenging for many organisations, particularly large B2B's, since there can be conflicting internal goals. "1 team. 1 goal.", as an implemented strategy, and Jeremy Bevan, VP EMEAR Marketing at Cisco, concluded that they already one year after implementation saw a considerable increase in content engagement and in demand generation.

I asked the Vendemore team present about their main take-aways from the first day:

Daniel: "Full of impressions, I think it's obvious that it's all becoming more data driven. Demand generation, account based marketing, content marketing - all companies seem to leverage smart data sources to increase their marketing efficiency."

Nigel: "The speed of change is frightening, and yet all of the senior B2B marketers are stepping up to the challenge, actively engaging with new technologies to deliver their programs."

Hans: "The misalignment between sales' and marketing's conversations with customers on where they are in their buyer's journey. It's urgent for companies to better understand how to meet their clients where they currently are."

David: "As always at a SiriusDecisions event, there is a wealth of knowledge on display and inspiring people to meet. As well as old friends. It's simply quite inspiring."

Me, I summarize the day as: There is a crucial need for collaboration between sales, marketing, and product, to understand the buyers and to gain a competitive edge. Combining the individual strengths of these teams with the opportunities presented by modern software, a company can gain a clear competitive advantage: analyse buyer intent, present the offering based on the information gathered, actively pursue the most interesting prospects both with targeted marketing activities and active sales efforts, and eventually - celebrate the win together, across teams.

Said that, when making your marketing plan for 2018, I'd suggest you make it a goal to align Marketing, Sales, and Product in your organisation, to jointly generate demand.

Ulrika Bergström
Head of Customer Experience, Vendemore

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